Saturday, 10 March 2012

Welsh rarebit


  Bread, Newcastle Brown Ale, lancashire cheese, double cream, english mustard.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 10 minutes

This is a dish of division. The division between people who call it Welsh Rarebit or Welsh Rabbit. The division between people who use Cheddar and those who use Lancashire cheese. The division between people who use stout versus ale, sourdough bread versus seeded wholemeal... the list is endless! I have spent the majority of this week perfecting this recipe - I used different cheeses, different ales and stouts and I can confirm with absolute confidence that you will not find a better Welsh Rarebit sauce than that made with Newcastle Brown Ale and Lancashire cheese. Cheddar is too oily, too sharp tasting - the piquancy here comes from the mustard. I also prefer to serve this on seeded wholemeal bread, but watch out for my bacon bread recipe coming later today!

1) Reduce half a cup of ale in a milk pan, stir in a teaspoon of English mustard, a tablespoon of double cream and remove from the heat.

2) Grate the lancashire cheese into the pan and stir through until a completely smooth, elastic sort of fondue has formed.

3) Toast the bread on one side before spooning about 4 tablespoons of sauce, bit by bit onto the bread, allowing it to soak up the sauce as you spread it out.  When a layer of sauce about 1/3 of a centimetre high has settled on the bread, it's ready to grill.

4) I like to grill this until the cheese has begun to form a crisp brown layer, and run down the sides of the crust - this leaves a melting, soft centre of cheese but has a wonderful flavour on the top.

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